Last updated on 17 August 2001

Ka-Neng Au ( and
Roberta Tipton (

Basic Principles | Extending Your Reach | Sticky Websites | Other Resources

A. Basic Principles - what's your marketing mix?

Before you begin the online marketing process, have you analyzed your organization and its environment using some standard analysis technique, such as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)?

1. Producer

Does your page convey clearly the benefits of your organization for donors and clientele? Should a mission statement or statement of purpose(s) be on your Webpage?

2. Purchasers

Do you need a special page or special features on your site for ethnic or foreign language groups? How about special community groups? How about the elderly? Is your page accessible to the disabled? (See section on accessibility below.)

3. Product

Which of your existing products or services should be featured on your page? Which cannot be delivered in whole or in part via your page?

4. Price

How much can your organization afford for the Web site? Consider site design and maintenance, as well as Web server costs.

5. Place

What new products or services are made possible for the first time by your page? Could any of your clients use your information 24 hours/7 days per week, even when your offices are closed?

6. Promotion

How does your message have to be adapted to the Web environment? Is the Web the best or only place to send this message to this client group? You still need newsletters, press releases, direct-mail pieces, telephone, fax, and personal contacts. Is your Web address on all your promotional pieces, business cards, and stationery?

7. Probing

Is someone in your organization answering, noting, and analyzing email and telephone messages received from Web site contacts? Instant market research! (More under responsiveness, below.)

[Based on: Fine, Seymour H. Marketing the Public Sector: Promoting the Causes of Public and Nonprofit Agencies. Transaction, 1992. (DANA HF 5415.122 .F56)]

For further reading, consult:

Some useful books are:

Many more may be found on Tenagra's listing of Books that focus on Internet Marketing, Advertising, and Business Use. []

B. Extending Your Reach - who's your target?

1. Directory Listing

You can usually be added to a business directory for free. Here are several Web directories of organizations; more may be found on the Company Research Guide. []

Many other lists may be found on Philanthropy Links: Meta-Index of Nonprofit Sites []

2. Meta-tags and Search Engines

What are meta tags? Keywords and descriptive terms that identify your Website, used by search engines to index Web pages. Below are the meta tags for this page:

<head> <title>Internet Marketing</title> <meta name="description" content="Promoting your organization on the Internet"> <meta name="keywords" content="marketing, promotion, ecommerce"> <meta name="author" content="Ka-Neng Au, Roberta Tipton"> </head>

To get a quick idea of whether your site has been indexed and where it ranks on ten different search engine sites, use PositionAgent, which is free but e-mail registration is required. []

Many search engines also offer free registration of your Website. Here are a few sites which will register your Website for free with multiple search engines; many, many more may be found at Go Net-Wide. []

You could also do the registration yourself, with some software from []

If you want to spend some money, you could download WebPosition Gold, software designed to help you with meta-tags; or read a copy of The UnFair Advantage Book On Winning The Search Engine Wars. [ and]

3. Link Exchanges

You can sign up with other related Websites so that the group as a whole can promote the sites associated with it. Check out:

4. URL Redirection

Should you have a long or less-than-memorable URL, there are a couple of ways to help your users find you. First, you can register a URL that will redirect your visitors to the actual location. For this approach, look at the Institute of Jazz Studies Webpage [] with a short URL from V3 Redirect Services. []

You can also register Keywords which will allow Microsoft Internet Explorer users to reach your Website without knowing your actual URL. This is a fee-based service from RealNames. []

5. Domain-name Registration

One site that offers "free" registration for one year is []

Also, you can now register a new domain name with more characters than before - 63 characters instead of just 26 - and you might want to consider registering your domain name in other countries or TLD's.

C. Making Your Website Sticky - why should anyone return?

1. Value-added Information

Content is king. If there is no useful information on your site, no one will return, not for all the bells and whistles (or spinning globes and flashing lights). But some basic content is often forgotten in the midst of annual reports and project descriptions.

2. Navigation and Layout

Start with an thoughful essay on Website usability from [] *UPDATED* Then, consider that an online user has to rely on visual clues to provide context and direction. Websites should incorporate one or more navigation tools such as:

Design elements to avoid: For more tips, follow the Spotlight on Navigation Design from CNET as well as Jakob Nielsen's Website. [] *UPDATED* and []

3. Accessibility

The U.S. Government is requiring that all Federal Agencies developing electronic products abide by Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act Of 1998, which calls for comparable (not equal) access to information and data by all users. Even without this directive, it is recommended that your Webpages be accessible to the visually impaired, and you can start with some Quick Tips from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. []

4. Responsiveness

If you invite your visitors to send you e-mail, be sure to reply promptly. It is very annoying to receive no answer, so assign someone to handle e-mail (just as you would handle phone calls).

To reach a new audience, you could use targeted e-mail lists, which are garnering an average response rate between 20% and 30% (compared to the 1% to 2% rate with the use of banner ads):
Your organization can develop an online community through the use of forums or discussion groups, from simple e-mail to multimedia interaction.

5. Affiliate Marketing

A percentage (from 2% to 25%) of purchases made at selected online merchants will go to your non-profit organization or school. Register at one of the following:

D. Other Resources

Clear the location box.